This workshop will begin with a brief overview of the recommendations in international law to protect cultural heritage in crisis, in particular this 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. Although designed for armed conflict, the recommendations are equally valuable in other types of crisis, such as riots and terrorism. But how do those threats differ to the more-commonly considered risks from disasters? And what does that mean in practice?
Working in small groups, workshop attendees will complete a number of small exercises designed to develop awareness of the threats to archival heritage in crisis and some of the best ways to proactively mitigate them (rather than conservation, or post-disaster first aid).
1. To develop understanding of international law and its relevance to heritage protection
2. To develop understanding of the threats to heritage in crisis, particularly violence-based threats, such as riots, terrorism and conflict
3. To develop understanding of some key measures to mitigate threats and to conduct simple mitigation exercises
The workshop will address the planning of physical and digital preservation activities and will focus on two main topics: (1) project planning, prioritization of activities and workflow, and how to find low-cost solutions for better preserving manuscript collections; (2) project planning for fundraising and providing some basic hints for outlining preservation and digitization project proposals.
Participants will be actively involved in an interactive session: through preparation of a case study, attendees will have the opportunity to exchange proposals and ideas on the above mentioned topic and get feedback from the workshop leader.
Cataloguing is key to assisting readers in accessing a manuscript, particularly its coding, author (if known), number of folios, state of preservation, type of writing, etc. One of the difficulties that cataloguers face when cataloguing manuscripts is identifying and differentiating between the many various types of writing.
There are two main types of writing: al-Mashriqī and al-Maghribī, but there are also other details to consider, which is why the workshop will be discussing the writings we come across when cataloguing Timbuktu manuscripts, as these writings are sometimes mosaics are very often different. These writings include, among others, Maghribī, Saḥrāwī, Sūqī, Sūdānī, and so on. We will be describing the characteristics of each type of writing so that the manuscripts may be distinguished at first sight, both by cataloguers and readers. We will also be covering the migration process undergone by these writings, from the Ḥijāz to North Africa and then West Africa, where other variants are known.